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Vatican Media Expert Calls Grads to Tenderness

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSBThe Rev. Thomas Rosica, CSB, University of St. Thomas board member and Vatican media expert, is the featured speaker at the 64th annual UST Commencement Ceremony. Speaking on, “Revolutionaries of Tenderness: A Call to Arms for the Class of 2014,” he will address 298 undergraduate students and 739 graduate students on Saturday, May 17, 2014 beginning at 10 a.m. at Reliant Arena, One Reliant Park.

Alizeh Yusuf, international studies and biology joint major, will be the student commencement speaker. Additionally, the University of St. Thomas will honor George DeMontrond, former UST Board President, with an honorary degree and Gabe Canales ’99, founder and president of Blue Cure, with the Father V.J. Guinan Alumni of the Year award.

Where There Is a Divine Will, There is a Divine Way

Fr. Rosica is the CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and the president of Assumption University in Windsor, Ontario. Fr. Rosica served as Media Attaché at two Synods of Bishops at the Vatican in 2008 and 2012 and served as English language Deputy Spokesperson for the Vatican during the Papal transition in February and March. In 2009, Rosica was also appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

As part of his duties as CEO and Vatican Media Attaché, Fr. Rosica frequently makes trips to Rome and has met with Pope Francis on numerous occasions.

Rosica was ordained in the Congregation of St. Basil in 1986. He holds degrees in Theology and Sacred Scripture from Regis College in the Toronto School of Theology, the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem.

In 1994, Rosica served as the Executive Director of Newman Centre Catholic Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto.  In 1999, he was appointed by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as the Chief Executive Officer, National Director of the World Youth Day and the Papal Visit of St. John Paul IIin Toronto during July 2002.

Student Speaker Led by Faith

Alizeh YusufYusuf, the student commencement speaker, will address her peers with her speech titled “Taking Our Story Beyond UST.”  The speech will focus on the diversity in the UST community, along with the philanthropy and altruism of the students at UST. Yusuf understands and appreciates the value of a Catholic education, even though she is a practicing Muslim.

“It’s really wonderful to see that different kinds of people can put aside their differences, come together and work for something good in the community,” Yusuf said.

George DeMontrond Receives Honorary Degree

George DeMontrondDeMontrond is a former UST Board President and owner of DeMontrond Automotive Group. He will receive an honorary degree for his work with the successful $65 million capital campaign team, the UST Athletics Advisory Council and the Ethical Leadership in Action program.

DeMontrond earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1976 from the University of Texas School of Law. He graduated with honors from the engineering program at Princeton University in 1976. Both he and his wife are active supporters for the University of St. Thomas.

Alumni of the Year Goes to Gabe Canales

Gabe CanalesCanales will receive the Alumni of the Year Award for his service and dedication to his non-profit organization, the Blue Cure Foundation.

As founder, president and spokesman for Blue Cure – the men’s side of women’s “pink” movement for breast cancer – Canales has spoken at TED conferences and conferences around the United States. Canales has appeared on media in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Dallas, Houston and other cities to raise awareness about prostate cancer and encourage prevention through diet and lifestyle habits.

“I'm deeply honored to receive the 2014 University of St. Thomas Guinan Alumni of the Year Award,” Canales said. “I've always been grateful for the liberal arts education I received at UST and the emphasis on critical thinking and effective communication which helped prepare me for my life's work. I will continue to serve proudly as an ambassador for the University of St. Thomas, and I hope to live up to this greatly appreciated honor."

Graduation Activities

To kick off the commencement activities, the University of St. Thomas will host a Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1701 San Jacinto St. Following the Mass, the Alumni Association will host a reception on the Campus Life Mall for all graduates and family members. Shuttle service will be provided. Read more about graduation.

Watch Commencement Live

A live stream of the Commencement Ceremony will be available online for anyone who is unable to attend the event. Share the live stream page with family and friends in advance of graduation.


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